What to Do When You Can Only Water Once a Week

By Maya Argaman and Ann-Marie Benz

With summer heat blazing and another year of severe drought, California has entered Stage-2 drought restrictions. Water districts searching for ways to meet the current cutbacks have restricted watering to once a week throughout large sections of the state. Many people have already cut back by replacing old appliances, removing lawns, and installing low-water native gardens. Watering once a week is a new concept, so how can you pivot your gardening habits to help plants thrive?

To help you and your landscape adjust:

  • Water deeply and in the early morningbefore the sun and heat hit your plants. If possible, we recommend hand watering for native plants. 
  • If you have flexibility, try to choose the coolest day/with overcast conditions to water.
  • The goal is to get the water to the roots of plants for uptake, so focus on watering around the plant. 
  • Mulching your garden helps retain moisture in the soil. Leave a few spaces for native ground-dwelling bees, and make sure the mulch doesn’t touch the crown of the plants.
  • Keep in mind that the best thing you can put on your landscape is your shadow. Get to know your landscape and your plants. If you’re out there regularly, you’ll see if the drought or heat are stressing them.
  • Summer is a great time to sheet mulch and prep yards for fall planting of natives. If you have a high water-use landscape, this is the opportunity to turn your water off and plan for fall planting!

Check out these seven steps and click on the links below to find out more!

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